The acidity of the coffee woke her up like a punch to the gut. Today was the day she was starting her new job. Cataloguing and maintaining a special collections library, this equaled less pay but no more dealing with the public. Perfect. The public library had left a scar than ran deep through her soul; she couldn’t handle all their emotions anymore. Especially with how the world was going, the downward spiral it had become with too many children in power.
Upon arrival at the new library she noticed the lights were shut off and it appeared as if no one was there, this was perfect. The first day and she didn’t even have to talk to her new coworkers. This job was definitely appealing to her need for quiet. One would assume working in a library would offer that but that is an old school mentality. Public libraries are community meeting areas with screaming children and adults. This library was more of a museum atmosphere. The sweet, musty smell of history lingering in your nostrils, the walls held long lost truths that the books confirmed. It was so perfect that she had to give a little jump and hurray as she entered, this was too perfect. That’s when the fear hit her like a tonne of books falling off a book truck. Nothing is ever perfect.
All the books for cataloguing were neatly arranged on the side of her new workstation. Old pages peaking out the sides, due to damaged binding from poor handling and age. She made a note to send them to bindery for repair after the cataloguing had been taken care of.
By late afternoon her coworkers still hadn’t arrived nor had her new boss Henk. He had interviewed her and was the one that made the convincing argument to leave the public sector and work privately. The money was initially a factor but Henk made a compelling argument about the material she would be handling and the lack of patrons. All items in this library were ancient, at least a thousand years old. Some books had never been properly dated. There was also rumor of some books being bound in flesh, like so many click bait articles friends have posted. Slight panic was setting in. Was she here too early? Did she show up on the wrong day? Checking her phone she realized it was Monday at one in the afternoon. Was this some sort of hazing to scare the new girl?
Breaking for lunch was a necessity, she had painstakingly catalogued 10 items since she arrived, her eyes needed the break and her stomach had agreed. Maybe by the time she returned her co-workers joke would be over.
She noticed when she got back that there was still no one at the library; however, new books had been added to the pile. Where they came from she never knew. Henk probably had meetings and quickly dropped these off. The little voice in the back of her head warning of danger had been somewhat silenced with the addition of new books. Until she came across the most ancient book she had ever seen. The words were not of this world, no written language she had ever encountered, nor anyone else on this planet. It looked similar to Cuneiform but also like some odd sort of hieroglyph from a civilization that never existed. The hairs on the back of her arm were standing at attention as she took her gloved hand and gently caressed the words. Unknown words and chants were ringing through her head, none of which were making sense. The scent of fire and savory foods entered her nostril, even though she just ate her stomach made noise. Voices that were mere whispers had turned into yelling that reverberated in the library. She slammed the book closed and caught her breath. Auditory hallucinations were one thing but visual hallucinations of being tied to a stake and set ablaze were another. Turning her back to the book had been her second mistake. Her first mistake was not being familiar with the name, Miskatonic.
No one would see her again unless they opened up the last page of the mysterious book she had been cataloguing to see her being set ablaze, her screams echoing in the pages.